2.40 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 5f
Two of my eyecatchers run here but the market clearly speaks in favour of Pop Dancer. That’s the one I preferred looking at the race last night anyway. Secretfact will have another day on turf over fast 5f soon, hopefully.
The money has been coming for Pop Dancer all morning, and even though I missed all the big prices, the move gives me confidence today is the day.
The 5-year-old caught my eye in a wild 5 furlong sprint at Epsom last month which Mokaatil won. The form looks good through the winner and third having run well in the meantime.
That day Pop Dancer was one of those who travelled strongly but didn’t find a gap when needed at a crucial stage of the race. He also fell down the camber late, even though the bird was flown at that time anyway.
Pop Dancer hasn’t set the world alight in the last year or so. Consequently he’s a long way down in the ratings. But I feel this most recent run was much better than the bare result. His previous topspeed ratings give him a great chance of his current 67 mark with his wellbeing confirmed.
He handles the All-Weather, is down in class 5 and has a good draw to attack the race from. I never like to see Luke Morris in the saddle and the stable form is a real concern. But there is more to like today than not about his chance with prices still too big.
10pts win – Pop Dancer @ 9/1
4.20 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 1m
The favourite remains potentially well handicapped and has been given a big chance by the handicapper to make it two wins from his last three runs. But he has to stretch out over a mile and had already three hard runs in about three weeks.
When Rum Going On won at Musselburgh two back Cobra Kai was big eyecatcher for me. He had a horrible race then, hampered in the early parts of the race and severely lit up, not getting a clear run in the home straight too, yet finishing well in third place given circumstances.
That was an excellent follow-up performance from his solid seasonal reappearance at Newcastle. Cobra Kai is certainly in fine form and appears to be improving.
He tackles the mile for the first time. I have not many worries on pedigree. He should stay and should find improvement for it. The key question is whether he can settle. He may burn out early. My hope is Andrew Mullen goes forward from his good draw and let the gelding find a rhythm.
Despite being a maiden, I have a strong feeling Cobra Kai is quite a bit better than a 49 official rating. If he can improve for the trip as I expect him to do he could make a mockery of this mark.
10pts win – Cobra Kai @ 15/2